Women’s participation in drafting constitutions leads to more equitable legal frameworks and socially inclusive reforms, laying the groundwork for sustainable peace. Yet new research from Inclusive Security reveals that while 75 conflict-affected countries oversaw significant reform processes between 1995-2015, only one in five constitutional drafters in these environments have been women. As actors from Syria, Libya, and other countries marked by violence are taking steps towards building new constitutions, USIP and Inclusive Security convened a panel to draw out lessons for policymakers by discussing women’s roles in constitution-making, gender equality in constitutional provisions - including in relation to constitutions developed with an Islamic identity - and their implications for long-term, inclusive peace and security.

While there have been slow increases in the number of women involved in constitution-making processes since the end of the Cold War, women still must overcome discrimination and perceived illegitimacy once they have a seat at the negotiating table. Drawing on in-depth case studies, research, and personal experiences, panelists offered insights on how early action and alliance building have proven useful strategies for overcoming such obstacles, and recommendations for supporting and empowering women in constitution building in the future. Review the conversation on Twitter with #InclusiveConstitutions.

Speakers

Rosarie Tucci
Director of Inclusive Societies, U.S Institute of Peace

Palwasha Kakar
Senior Program Officer, Religion and Inclusive Societies, U.S Institute of Peace

Marie O’Reilly
Director of Research & Analysis, Inclusive Security

Amira Yahyaoui
Founder, Al Bawsala

Jason Gluck
Policy Specialist, Political Dialogues and Constitutional Processes, United Nations Development Program

Related Publications

Thomas Hill on the U.N. Mission in Libya

Thomas Hill on the U.N. Mission in Libya

Thursday, January 26, 2023

By: Thomas M. Hill

Twelve years since the fall of Qaddafi, the United Nations' Libya mission carries the same mandate as it did in 2011. With the country still experiencing various degrees of conflict and upheaval, it’s time to “re-envision what we want the U.N. to do” in Libya and create a “mandate [that] will reflect that,” says USIP’s Thomas Hill.

Type: Podcast

The U.N.’s Libya Mission Needs a Reset

The U.N.’s Libya Mission Needs a Reset

Monday, January 9, 2023

By: Thomas M. Hill;  Martin Pimentel

Nearly 12 years since the overthrow of Libya’s longtime dictator, Muammar Qaddafi, the country remains divided, providing opportunities for malign foreign interference. European and Middle Eastern governments have exploited the Libyan conflict to advance narrow self-interests — often at the expense of the Libyan people. Against this backdrop, the United Nations, via its support mission in Libya (UNSMIL), has worked to find a way to balance the interests of the Libyan people, political elites and powerful external actors to devise a political settlement and resolve the conflict.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

From Factionalism to Foreign Interference: Libya’s Conflict Remains Frozen

From Factionalism to Foreign Interference: Libya’s Conflict Remains Frozen

Thursday, November 3, 2022

By: Ahmed Alsharkasi

Over 11 years after the death of dictator Muammar Qaddafi, Libya’s conflict is seemingly stuck in place. Rival governments in the country’s East and West, factionalism, militia warfare and foreign interference have all contributed to a complex conflict that still has no resolution in sight. In a bid to advance the peace process, the United Nations convened the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) in late 2020 with 75 Libyans from across the country’s diverse social and political spectrum. Among other things, participants agreed on a roadmap for national elections to be held on December 24, 2021.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global PolicyPeace Processes

Ask the Experts: What Drives Libya’s Fragility?

Ask the Experts: What Drives Libya’s Fragility?

Monday, October 31, 2022

By: Andrew Cheatham

Libya has been trapped in cycles of violence and political instability since the 2011 revolution. Competing factions within Libya’s political, business and military elite have spent the last decade alternating between violent conflict and ineffective power-sharing agreements. Meanwhile, foreign powers have interfered in pursuit of their own geopolitical agendas, undermining international mediation efforts by the United Nations and others. USIP’s Andrew Cheatham spoke with two Libya experts to discuss what’s behind the country’s protracted fragility crisis and how Libya can move toward peace and democratic governance.

Type: Blog

Fragility & Resilience

View All Publications